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Dove With Olive Branch: Meaning & Symbolism

Dove With Olive Branch

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Dove With Olive Branch Meaning

There are many famous symbols in different parts of the world to which people attached religiously or they may be a sign of good luck or bad one. A dove with an olive branch in its beak is also an eminent symbol. This has been used in many religions for centuries. It appears in paganism i.e., a non-Christian or pre-Christian era, and in some branches of the military also.

Olive branch

Doves With Olive Branches & Judaism

There are many ancient historical or mythological stories behind this picture. The most significant story associated with doves is that of Noah’s Ark, in which after the flood started receding Noah released a dove and he returned with an olive branch in its beak which was a signal that there was dry land where they can land. Additionally, the Talmud, the primary source of Judaism faith and law associate the Spirit of God with a dove that upkeeps for her babies.

Doves With Olive Branches & Christianity

In the Bible, in the book of Genesis which portrays the great flood and the story of Noah’s Ark, the symbol of the dove is also found. The dove is related to the baptism of Jesus in the New Testament of the Bible. Furthermore, in many branches of Christianity, the dove with an olive branch in its beak is seen as a symbol of peace and is associated with the baptism of its members.

It’s believed that the Holy Spirit appeared to Jesus in the form of a white dove, and from that time onwards the symbol has come to be associated with baptism. The Holy Spirit is related to a dove in many other instances throughout the Bible, primarily in the New Testament.

The symbol also appears in funeral ceremonies in some early Christian iconography. According to belief, the picture depicts that soul is leaving the body and starting its journey to heaven.

Daniel and the Lion’s Den and the Three Men in the Furnace are some Bible stories that are represented as symbols of peace. Even the word dove appears more than a thousand times in the Bible. The Archangel Gabriel is often shown holding an olive branch.

Flying dove
Doves With Olive Branches and Paganism

In ancient Mesopotamia, it is believed that the dove was a symbol of the goddess of love, war, and sexuality because the goddess took the form of a dove. The Canaanite mother goddess and ancient Greek goddess Aphrodite were also accompanying the white dove.

The dove was also a representation of peace for the Ancient Romans. There were many incidents in the past where generals offered an olive branch for peace after a battle like an olive branch is offered for peace by the main character in Aeneid by Virgil.

In many primeval temples and other structures, metal and marble doves have been found, representing that the dove is a symbol of many characters dating back many centuries. The roots of important ancient deities and figures connected with the dove are found predominantly in Mediterranean countries.

This explains the importance of the dove, now let’s find about the use of the olive branch. Athena gifted olive trees to the people of Athens, and from that time the tree became one of the most important crops, so the link was organic.

Winners in the ancient Olympic Games were crowned with a headdress made from olive leaves. Not only in Mediterranean countries but in Hinduism also, the dove is a sacred bird. It is a cause of misfortune to kill the bird, not at all and the bird is a symbol of longevity in some Chinese traditions.

Dove With Olive Branch
Doves With Olive Branches and The Royal Air

Doves and pigeons have been used as messengers during the war, the Royal Air Force would use the dove in the crest for its Tactical Communications Wing for a long time.

Dove Symbols in Politics

Besides religion, the white dove also symbolizes peace and nonviolence in politics. The white dove is widely used in political propaganda and as part of the signage for large world events, such as the Olympics. It’s also been used in peace marches and anti-war protests in history.

In political circles, pacifists are referred to as doves. In some of the images the dove is shown holding the olive branch in its beak, while in others, it’s without the olive branch. But in both cases, the meaning is the same. the emblem for the World Peace Conference chose the dove painted by Pablo Picasso in 1949.

Since then, it became a symbol of the peace movement. Pablo Picasso was very much influenced by white doves. He drew several images of doves some with an olive branch and some alone.

His love for the bird was such at par that he named his daughter Paloma which is a Spanish word for dove. So, it is true that a dove holding an olive branch is associated with religion, politics as well as art.

Though many religions continue to use the dove as part of their baptism ceremonies and to represent the Holy Spirit. These picture or symbols can be seen in churches, military buildings, government buildings. and many other places.

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